In a recent article for Petrolicious about a 1971 Volkswagen Type 3, a man notes, “Life is too short to drive boring cars.” This is a profound philosophical position: Man sees car, notes car’s ability to influence, buys fun car. It says that material things matter to your psyche, emotional health, and overall happiness.
It’s an interesting position, and not very American (Alex Hemmers is from Australia). In American, we see car-buying in terms of “investment” and “bang for your buck.” Most cars in America are boring because we want boring. We think in terms of dollar signs, we drive in terms of dollar signs and we buy in terms of even larger dollar signs.
Which is why the price Alex paid for his Type 3 is so surprising: $1,300. Such thrift!
“I have had this Type 3 for six years since I bid and won it, sight unseen, on eBay for the very reasonable sum of $1300. It was in fairly original condition at the time with next to no rust. The price was practically theft and I think the seller resented the sale a bit. It included receipts dating back to the early ‘80s. It was running, registered in Victoria, and we drove the car 1000km (~600mi) back to Sydney the day I bought it.”
That yellow is Shantung Yellow. Shantung is a fabric used to make women’s dresses, and is known for its use of tussore silk and random texture that always surprises the fingertips. Not a bad association for your car’s color.
Being an older car, there were a few issues that had to be addressed: a bit of rust here and there, some fabric that needed care, and certain engine components upgraded to meet modern emission requirements. Besides that, Alex uses it as his daily driver, has found its reliability to be outstanding, and doesn’t shrink at all from the rock chipping and scratches that come with regular use.
For a car, after all, is just a car. It’s a strange dichotomy of buying something that you’ll actually love to drive, and not being afraid to use it. It’s also an excellent case to reevaluate your philosophy toward car ownership and material possessions in general.
Follow the link for copious amounts of gorgeous photography.